Overall, I’m a fan of happiness, positivity, and optimism, believing that attitude goes a long way in determining outcome. It’s something I have tried to live daily and teach to my children. Sometimes, in business and in life, things do go wrong – horribly wrong. When that happens, everything is not awesome.
In my career, I’ve worked with people who are so over-the-top and terminally positive, it becomes saccharine and, therefore, meaningless. When things do go brutally bad, that type of exaggerated idealism won’t change reality and usually makes the entire situation worse. Using adolescent terms like “awesome sauce” and “amazeballs” in an attempt to mask disappointment due to a critical loss is unproductive and unsettling because it’s not grounded in reality.
Sadly, these are also the people that eventually completely crumble into a when things REALLY go wrong and the false positivity fails to alleviate the situation. This usually manifests itself in pointing fingers and casting blame rather than focusing on ways to solve the problem. Like any fake sweetener, being saccharine in moments of crisis may give a brief (and false) feeling of euphoria but will eventually result in an ugly crash.
It’s critical to keep a positive attitude, but it’s equally important to temper it with a healthy dose of reality. Perhaps the best attitude is to always hope for the best, but prepare for the worst.